10 Ways to Make Your Life More Quiet

Side view of thoughtful woman looking through window while having coffee in cottage

Over the last decade, technology has altered the way we go about our personal and professional lives. The extensive features that come with electronic devices have made it quicker and easier for us to accomplish more tasks in less time. However, all this functionality at our fingertips – with little to no self-regulation – has also increased the noise we allow into our days on a regular basis.

Digital Noise on the Rise

According to the Digital 2021: Global Overview Report, the Global Web Index (GWI) found that the average internet user now spends almost 7 hours per day using the internet across all devices. This equates to more than 48 hours per week online, which is two days out of a seven-day week.

GWI also discovered that the typical internet user spent 16 minutes longer online each day in Q3 2020 than they did in Q3 2019, representing a year-on-year increase of 4 percent. In short: the amount of digital noise we consume is already high and continuing to increase.

Re-inviting the Silence

The necessity for tuning out the digital noise is greater than ever before. How do we revert back to a more quiet experience in a technology-dependent world, though? Read on to learn about 10 practices you can start implementing today to achieve more peace and less interruptions in your life.

1. Start Uni-tasking

With so many moving parts in our day-to-day responsibilities, we often adapt multitasking as a means of keeping up with our work and life load. Doing too much at once, however, yields excess noise that contributes to a decrease in productivity, inferior work results, and the lack of full attentiveness.

Rather than responding to an email while you’re on the phone and going on a walk, make the active choice to complete these tasks one-by-one. Uni-tasking provides the opportunity to tangibly concentrate on a single objective, which can also help keep your mind focused if it tends to wander.

2. Eliminate Excess Background Media

On the same note as multitasking, another measure you can take is to limit the audible information you consume while doing other activities. Background media – whether just audio or audio with visual – is often used to occupy the silence and provide entertainment. However, continuously streaming media while doing other activities adds additional noise that makes it challenging to truly focus.

Podcasts and audiobooks have become popular ways to listen to media while working on other tasks and projects. These alternative ways of consuming information, though, have prompted us to multitask. Thus, we are faced with processing much more information at once that yields excess noise.

Rather than using podcasts and audiobooks as a way to ‘read’ and walk at the same time, consider using these types of media as a way to slow down, do one activity at a time, and simply focus. Both media formats may be audible. However, the way you consume them can add more noise to your overall life than other ways of media consumption.

3. Power Off Your Electronic Devices

According to a survey conducted by global tech care company Asurion, Americans now check their phone 96 times a day. This is once every 10 minutes. Given how frequently we check our mobile devices, turning off your electronics as much as possible helps you avoid excess noise altogether.

You may find it quite uncomfortable to shut off your phone for longer durations if you find yourself constantly using it. Choosing to scaling back your mobile device usage, though, significantly makes your day-to-day life much more quiet.

4. Rethink the Activities You Do

While electronic devices add more noise to our lives, how we go about practicing activities plays a role as well. This includes how often these activities involve your devices and what you can do to make these activities more quiet.

If you enjoy hiking on local trails, opt to leave your phone behind. While cranking out an important project for work, power off your phone and move it to another room. Making subtle electronic adjustments for the objective at hand can make experiences more worthwhile and quieter altogether.

5. Limit the Information You Consume

Research has shown how sorting through the immense amount of information online can lead to digital overload. Hence, our lives become significantly more quiet once we become more selective about the information we consume.

Rather than constantly checking social media and online articles to receive the latest updates, partake in a constructive activity that furthers your own objectives. Our free Analog Activity Guide provides A-Z hobbies ideas that can replace excess media consumption.

6. Specify How You Will Consume Information

Removing yourself from extraneous noise – while still staying up-to-date with the latest happenings in the world – requires consideration. In fact, a PEW Research Center survey found that 86% of Americans get their news from digital devices.

Using our devices to retrieve the latest news increases the likelihood of becoming distracted from other content on the internet. Thus, setting parameters from how and when you will consume media updates can help make your life more quiet.

Rather than using your electronic devices as the sole method of receiving information, consider traditional media as well. The analog facets of magazines and FM radio can help you consume information the way you intend and stay more focused on the information in front of you.

7. Allow Yourself to Experience Boredom

Oftentimes, our lives become so inundated with noise because we’re afraid to experience boredom. This derives from the constant external stimuli and neurochemical rewards that come from using electronic devices.

The next time you find yourself using phone to pass the time, challenge yourself to turn it off and examine the boredom you intended to bypass for a few moments. Consider filling this boredom with a device-free activity instead to leverage this new-found silence.

8. Embrace Your Solitude

Electronic devices guarantee constant connection, which makes it difficult for us to put down our phones and be alone with ourselves. However, embracing solitude is a necessary step in making your life more quiet.

Rather than bringing digital companions with you to the park, use this as an opportunity to fully experience the weather and your surroundings. It can be challenging to put your phone away when connection is readily available via text or social media. However, enjoying your own company is a key component of re-inviting silence back into your life.

9. Examine Your Thoughts

Similar to our perception of boredom, many of us are also afraid to be alone with our thoughts. The internet and social media provide new information to consume by the second. This has prompted us to frequently look outward, rather than looking inward.

Instead of using the noise from electronic devices to suppress your thoughts, create quiet moments in your life to observe what you’re thinking. Productivity and creativity primarily emerge from our individual thoughts. Thus, it is important that we make your life more quiet to increase your attention towards intrapersonal matters.

10. Live More Analog

The most profound action you can take to eliminate excess noise is to live more analog. Adapting simpler, device-free process – where and whenever possible – makes your life all the more quiet and helps you reap the benefits of your efforts.

Switching from a phone alarm clock to a tangible alarm clock removes excess noise from your life that much more, even if the sound of the alarm is just as loud. So does the transition from taking notes on your phone to jotting notes down on a notepad.

Living Quietly in a Digital World

There are several ways you can make your life more quiet by rethinking how you use your electronic devices. Removing excess noise from your life involves active choice, attentiveness, and the willingness to experience discomfort.

Though living quietly in digital world may appear more challenging than ever, your gradual efforts will add up. Start taking small initiatives today to make your life more quiet, and you may find that your ability to re-embrace the silence enhances with time and practice.